The 2008 episode of the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour was this past weekend. As always, Jon and Noel organized a wonderful event. We gathered in Red Wing, rode to Wabasha Saturday with some tailwinds and a spot of rain to make in an official Three Speed Tour, had the usual bash at the Eagle's Nest Coffee Shop Saturday night, then gathered to ride back Sunday. It was cooler Sunday, sunny, but we had stiff headwinds. Fortunately, these were often screened along the river but the group that took the highlands route out of Wabasha suffered for their decision though I gather there were terrific views. There was a Brew Up in Lake City, the usual social gathering in Old Frontenac, the excitement of the Hill Avenue climb and descent for many of us, then the slog into Red Wing into the teeth of the wind and the post-ride gathering at the Staghead. This was of course all done on three-speed bicycles whilst dressed in proper ladies-and-gentlemen fashion. In my case, I again went as the Quicker Vicar, seen here at the Lake Pepin sign on the Wisconsin side.
Last year I took the easy way out, sticking to Highway 35 south of Maiden Rock rather than taking the County AA/E climb to the top of the bluffs. This year, I climbed. Actually, I walked a bit of it, but it turns out that not much easier on the legs than riding. Once atop Maiden Rock, which had been ridden to by a tandem pulling a trailer and many riders including several young ladies in skirts and heels, we fell about to bask in the view and the sunlight.
That's Wisconsin Highway 35, the lowlands route, down below. The ride across the dandelion meadow is just about the only off-road riding I do all year. The reward is great, since two years ago I'd done the Death March selection for the loop and bypassed this outcrop by accident. It's worth going out to.
I'll write more, but it'll be a few days. Got a busy week coming up. To all who rode the Tour, thanks for a great event, it's terrific how our little bit of alternate reality for two days creates such a high and it's a priviledge to ride with you. It makes a great kickoff to the summer cycling season.